At first glance, Nate and Melissa's small group looks like the perfect model for any person to follow. They kick their Tuesday evenings off with a theme dinner, and there is always plenty of food to go around. After dinner, everyone gathers in the living room for a short game, which always provides some opportunities for laughter. During the Bible study, Nate and Melissa lead their group through some great discussions. They are gifted facilitators and know how to ask thought-provoking questions that spark conversations. The evening is wrapped up with a closing prayer. After each gathering, Nate and Melissa go to bed feeling like the time was successful.
One morning, though, Nate received an email that really took him by surprise. A group member expressed an ongoing frustration with the weekly gatherings. For the past two weeks, she had some important prayer requests to share with everyone, but felt the prayer time was rushed at the end of the evening. So she didn't voice her requests. She hoped that Nate and Melissa would create some positive changes so that prayer would become a higher priority for the group.
That email opened Nate and Melissa's eyes to a missing ingredient within the life of their small group: quality prayer time. Even though they closed in prayer every evening, it was normally short and often seemed rushed. But as Nate and Melissa examined their evening agendas, they didn't see much available time. Dinner was important to their group's life because it helped everyone connect through conversations. The game served as a transition into the Bible study time. And there was no way they could cut out their Bible study! So they faced an obstacle—where would they find the time to pray more with their group?
Many small-group leaders are facing a similar obstacle. They would like to have more prayer time with their small groups but do not know how to practically make it happen. I believe this happens because these groups have not made prayer a priority. But they can do so, and the following steps can help.
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